Friday, September 22, 2023

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SmackDown Redux (February 5th, 2015): Restaurant Fights and Good Old Fashioned Revenge

Welcome to another SmackDown Redux! We’re back in action after last week’s abysmal, practically-Diva-free live edition of the show. Before we get to the night’s (criminally short) Divas match, let’s venture outside the arena for a double date orchestrated by Natalya and Naomi. This was apparently set up on the WWE App during Raw, but I don’t trust anyone who says anything happened on the App, so… Let’s see if the feuding Tyson Kidd and Jimmy Uso can get up to some 2001-era WWF pre-taped date hijinks:

Tyson shows up late, Cesaro in tow because apparently “double” to him calls to mind Canadian doubles tennis, which utilizes three person teams. (The more you know…)

Natalya is annoyed, as is Jimmy. The altercation soon devolves into an argument, Naomi telling Tyson that he needs to watch his mouth. When Jimmy calls him an ignorant jackass, Tyson’s had enough, and he flips the table, cueing Cesaro to lay out Jimmy with a right hand.

In the aftermath, Natalya blames Naomi and Jimmy for the mess, accusing them of ruining everything.

I hope this signals a heel turn for Natalya, because there’s only so much she can do as a babyface with a jackass husband. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen heel Nattie, and I’d like to become reacquainted with her.

Next stop, Divas match! Alicia Fox and Paige go head to head in a rematch from Raw. There are no Bellas at ringside this time, so Paige probably doesn’t have to worry about any aerosol-based attacks. You never know, though…

As the opening bell rings, Paige decides to forgo the traditional tie-up, opting to tackle Alicia and get right to business. She punches her in the head a few times before rolling to her feet and kicking her square in the jaw. Paige then slams her head against the mat for good measure.

Alicia battles back once on her feet, shoving Paige into the ropes and hitting her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on the return. She goes for an early pin, but Paige kicks out at two.

Brie and Nikki Bella look on from backstage as Alicia dumps Paige out of the ring. She taunts the crowd as the referee begins his 10 count. Slowly but surely, Paige crawls back into the ring and breaks the count. Alicia hits her with a suplex bridged into a pin, earning another near fall.

Alicia captures Page in a sleeper, but it isn’t long before Paige is fighting out, elbowing Alicia until she’s free. She follows that up with a series of short-armed clotheslines, a dropkick and a kick to the chin.

It’s PTO time! Paige takes the prone Alicia and latches on her submission finisher. Alicia soon taps out, giving Paige her second victory over the fox this week.

Thoughts: I suppose this was meant to give Paige some of her mojo back, even though she won on Raw. The post-match beatdown and spray painting (I still don’t buy that that was self tanner) gave the Bellas the upper hand, so a clean triumph is sorta due for Paige.

The match, as is the tradition with SmackDown, was laughably short, clocking in at two minutes and thirty three seconds. It was far from Alicia and Paige’s best encounter, even though it was clean and botch-free. It was just very paint-by-the-numbers. The Divas seemed to be racing against the clock in fear of what I assume was some giant booby trap that would be been activated if the match passed the three minute mark.

All in all, this Nikki/Paige feud is pretty underwhelming. They’re relying on the age-old “mean girl” cliche, having the Bellas team up on Paige and find various ways to insult her paleness. Because why do we need a Diva feud with any substance beyond the “heel is a bitch”? All women hate each other, amiright? Sigh.

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